A Learning Experience

…Is Halo Reach. I just watched another of those spot-lit MLG videos on the Waypoint main page. I asked myself why, and I had no idea. Let me explain. It’s come to my attention (and possibly yours) that Reach’s sandbox is really more like a half-filled bucket of sand and a huge spade. The spade is the DMR and the bucket of sand is an endless grey sea of uninspired building blocks. You can dump the sand out and spread it around, and you can ignore the spade and use your hands, but it will never be a ‘sandbox’.

Feel me?

So I just watched another video of professional players using one gun only, on a map that looks like all the rest.

As much as I love Halo Reach for all it’s many improvements, like Firefight 2, there are many things that can be improved on. Maybe the reason people are so scared for Halo 4 (I’m not one of them) is that there’s so much to improve on.

But consider for a moment that 343 is deeply commited to Halo. And at the time of Reach’s development, Bungie was not. They certainly broke new ground, especially with Forge, but it already had one foot out the door. Think of it as growing pains.

Imagine, professional gameplay with more than a few weapons! Whaaat

What weapons do you expect them to use? Last time I checked they use DMR, sniper, rockets, plasma pistol and then the shotty on Penance which is more then one weapon…

The point is, MLG is in a strange state right now where most games are quite boring to watch; simply because they only use a handful of maps and a handful of weapons. Halo 4 will likely be much better sport if every weapon has a use and if every map is solid. That’s why Reach has been a valuable lesson in competitive game design. In many ways it’s a step back from Halo 3 despite new features on the peripheries of the ‘MLG experience’.

Halo just isn’t as big as it was in MLG. Starcraft 2 is the big game and I don’t think that will change anytime soon unless Halo 4 revolutionizes the way its played

I tend to disagree seeing how the last MLG event was rather exciting with a final going all 11 games with the final game ending 50-48 but I guess thats boring. The maps and weapons MLG uses has nothing really to do with the state of the game. No matter the purpose of the guns in Halo 4 they wont use all of them in MLG because not all weapons are skill based. As for maps once again they wont use all of them since not all the maps in the game will be symmetrical and balanced for both teams which tend to be the maps that MLG uses.

> …the last MLG event was rather exciting with the final game ending 50-48 but I guess thats boring.

…Not what I was getting at. You can still have a 50-48 game with more weapons in it

> The maps and weapons [that] MLG uses has nothing really to do with the state of the game.

…Yes they do

> No matter the purpose of the guns in Halo 4 they wont use all of them in MLG because not all weapons are skill based.

…I guess you can never compete with ‘point-and-shoot’

> As for maps once again they wont use all of them since not all the maps in the game will be symmetrical and balanced for both teams which tend to be the maps that MLG uses.

…As long as they’re not all grey, my friend. As long as they’re fun to actually watch

So many weapons are redundant, inefficient at killing, or are easier to master at their fullest extent. These weapons are simply removed to streamline the sandbox, and create the most consistent settings with the least amount of variables possible.

There are very good reasons for everything being removed, this isn’t MLG’s fault. It is Bungie’s for not being able to create an arsenal of weapons that are viable in high-level play.

The same can be said about the maps. Many of Reach’s maps are unsuitable for competitive play, and therefore, are omitted. Due to having such a small amount of maps to work with, MLG had to improvise with Forge creations.

^ That is exactly what I’m saying. There is much to be learned from Halo Reach.

As a side note, you don’t see most of Starcraft II’s maps getting ostracized, and they certainly don’t put restrictions on what units you can make. The game itself is solid enough to be played at a high level, and it’s fun to watch because the players can draw on the entire game’s many layers of depth. I’m putting money on Halo 4 following suite.